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Council seeks another audit of Lebanon's books

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She asked that the accounting firm Dempsey Vantrase & Follis PLLC look at the books and just confirm that everything is in order. The firm performs the city’s audit after their books are closed each fiscal year.

Ward 3 Councilor Rob Cesternino and Warmath said they would rather see the audit report at their first meeting in January. Paul Vantrease, of Dempsey Vantrease & Follis, said early January is a reasonable deadline to have the report finished.

The council was concerned with the fact that money is being spent by department heads without having line item transfers approved by the council beforehand. Warmath said the council fought for a line item budget and these actions go against the very law they worked hard to create.

“I think the problem is us, it’s our internal processes. We need another methodology to watch these things,” Warmath said.

The council will hold a work session on Wednesday, April 13, at 5 p.m. to discuss the city’s proposed budget for the upcoming 2011-2012 fiscal year.

During the council’s regular meeting that followed the work session, they passed all but two ordinances due to a lack of majority, with Ward 4 Councilor Joe Hayes absent from the proceedings. The council failed to pass an ordinance to approve a Cooperative Agreement between the city, Wilson County and Peyton Manor, Inc., as well as an ordinance to authorize a line item transfer for Building Maintenance.

Both ordinances failed on a vote of 3 to 2 with Warmath and Buhler voting no. In order for a measure to pass, a majority, at least four councilors, must vote yes.

Peyton Manor, Inc., a Tennessee non-profit corporation, was hoping to develop lower-income housing in Lebanon financed by a loan made or insured by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. In lieu of paying taxes to the city, they would make regular payments to the city at the end of each fiscal year for public services and facilities furnished.

Warmath and Buhler voted no on the measure, however, the ordinance will reappear next week during a special called meeting for Wednesday, April 13, prior to their work session scheduled that day at 5 p.m.

Also, the council failed to pass a line item transfer of $300 for Building Maintenance to “cover assistance during a regular employee’s vacation.” The $300 was to be moved from the operating supplies line item into part time salaries.

The vote was again 3 to 2 with Warmath and Buhler opposing and a lack of majority to pass the measure. The ordinance will be discussed during the council’s work session on April 13.

Staff Writer Patrick Hall may be contacted at

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